Kentucky officials recently asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to change certain parts of their original request to alter the commonwealth’s Medicaid program. These changes would move Kentucky’s health and economy further in the wrong direction by making the work requirement more difficult to comply with and instituting a six-month lock out for enrollees who fail to report relevant changes in income or employment hours within ten days.
State officials decided to open a comment period for public input on these changes. The result was that 1,273 Kentuckians from 100 counties submitted comments to the state and CMS, overwhelmingly sharing concern about the ways these additional changes would harm their communities and themselves, and supportive of the state’s Medicaid program in its current form. These comments are in addition to the 1,804 comments posted last year in response to the original waiver request, which were 9 to 1 against the waiver.
See the map below for a sample of comments on the changes submitted across Kentucky counties:
The proposed changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program are being considered for approval by CMS now, and the final plan must take into account the results of both public comment periods. If the decision-makers in Washington take that responsibility seriously, they will not approve the request, which would roll back our health care gains rather than build on them.